|Targeted News Service|
More than half of all workers say they intend to work longer than they would like in order to keep their health insurance at work, according to new research by the nonpartisan
However, the actual experience of retirees suggests that may be wishful thinking: Less than 1 in 5 (19 percent) retirees say they were able to work longer to continue receiving health insurance through their jobs, the EBRI report says.
Overall, according to findings from the 2012
The HCS also found a growing proportion of older American workers who would retire earlier if they were assured of health coverage: In 2003, 15 percent of workers reported that they would retire earlier than planned if they were guaranteed access to health insurance, but by 2012, that percentage had nearly doubled (27 percent).
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), retirees (as well as many other Americans) will be able to purchase health insurance directly from health insurance exchanges, and they also stand to benefit from other insurance-market reforms combined with those exchanges, including guaranteed issue, modified community rating, and premium and costsharing subsidies for those under 400 percent of poverty, as well as increased health plan choices, he noted.
"With those expanded alternatives, employers that currently provide retiree health benefits may well find themselves considering an exit strategy," Fronstin said. "That, in turn, may affect the willingness of many older workers to stay on the job."
The HCS notes that health care expenses are a key component of spending in retirement: In 2009, health care accounted for 18 percent of expenses for people 85 and older, 15 percent of expenses for people ages 75-84, and 12 percent of expenses for people ages 65-74.
It has been estimated that a 65-year-old couple, both with median drug expenses, would need
The full report is published in the
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